The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and Alaska Airlines today reached a transition agreement that will provide improvements to the working conditions and benefits for Clerical, Office and Passenger Service (COPS) employees.
Just moments before a transition agreement between the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and Alaska Airlines was to be signed, Alaska Airlines insisted the IAM change the terms both parties already agreed to in that transition agreement to allow it to outsource work currently protected under the IAM contract, targeting reservations first. This attack on its own employees by Alaska Airlines to use contractors to perform work currently performed in-house has brought any potential transition agreement between Alaska management and the IAM, and all other merger related matters, to an abrupt halt.
“The IAM will not agree to a transition agreement with Alaska Airlines that does not protect the work and jobs of all employees,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja.
“This last minute bad faith ploy by Alaska management is a slap in the face to all the hardworking Reservations Agents, Customer Service Agents and all IAM covered workers at both pre-merger carriers and is nothing more than a greedy attempt to recoup money spent on the merger,” said IAM District 142 President Dave Supplee. “Management and shareholders will not realize the efficiencies of this merger with this type of behavior. And, IAM members will not subsidize Alaska management’s merger through the loss of their work or their jobs.”
The IAM is seeking an equitable agreement with Alaska management that protects all work, including the work of approximately 700 pre-merger Virgin America employees. Without a transition agreement, employees cannot be cross-utilized on each other’s pre-merger metal, cannot perform each other’s work and there will be no co-mingling of pre-merger workforces.
IAM District 142 will defend the rights of all workers at Alaska and Virgin and will lead the fight to preserve the work these workers perform at both airlines. We must all tell the new Alaska Airlines “NO” to outsourcing and demand parity now.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) today cleared the way for the merger between Alaska Airlines and Virgin America. Following the DOJ’s announcement, Alaska Airlines immediately recognized the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) as the representative of more than 3,500 Reservations, Office and Clerical, Passenger Service, Fleet Service and Stores employees at the combined carrier.
“We are proud to welcome our new members from Virgin America into our IAM family, said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “We look forward to starting discussions with Alaska so that all IAM members at the carrier are treated equally and fairly under the same contract.”
The IAM will also initiate the seniority integration process based on the union’s longstanding and legally tested policy of date of entry into the work classification.
The merger, originally announced in April, will add more than 600 new members to the IAM and will allow Seattle-based Alaska to expand into profitable hubs such as San Francisco and Los Angeles and make it the fifth largest U.S. airline.
The IAM is the world’s largest airline union representing over 100,000 workers.
Airline Customer Service Agents are often besieged by angry passengers and sometimes assaulted while doing their jobs.
When a TSA agent or law enforcement officer is assaulted at an airport, it’s a serious federal crime. And rightfully so, since we’re counting on them to keep us safe.
But airline gate and ticket agents, who also have critical security functions, are not currently protected by federal law, even though they control access to aircraft.
Across the country, Airline Customer Service Representatives are being physically assaulted on a daily basis. They’ve been kneed and punched in the face, struck by luggage thrown at them and had their clothes ripped. In some cases, injuries have been life-altering.
Tell your member of Congress to sign onto a letter demanding stricter penalties for assault against Airline Customer Service Representatives.
The Aviation and Transportation Security Act, passed by Congress in the wake of 9/11, sets penalties for interfering with airport and airline workers who have security duties. Unfortunately, the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation have excluded Customer Service Representatives from these protections.
The IAM and a coalition of airport worker unions support a letter from U.S. Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) urging DOJ and DOT to give Airline Customer Service Representatives the same protection from assault as TSA agents and law enforcement personnel.
Help protect Airline Customer Service Agents from assault by telling your members of Congress to sign on to our letter.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today announced its support of the proposed Alaska Airlines-Virgin America merger. The IAM initially withheld its support of the deal until it received assurances that both IAM, and future IAM members, would not be adversely affected by the Alaska-Virgin tie-up. The IAM sent a letter today to the Department of Justice (DOJ) expressing its support and urging the federal agency’s approval of the merger.
The seniority integration process was of particular concern to the IAM. Under federal law, where unions represent employees, unions are responsible for combining seniority lists in airline mergers. The IAM’s internal seniority integration policy will govern for the combined Alaska and Virgin workforce it will represent. This longstanding and legally tested policy is based on each employee’s date of entry into a classification and is the fairest seniority integration method that offers equal protections to all employees. Alaska’s assurances of honoring this policy clears the path for the IAM’s support of a successful merger of the two air carriers.
“Because of the industry-leading performance of Alaska and Virgin employees, this merger will make Alaska Airlines the fifth-largest airline in America and a force to be reckoned with in the industry,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “We look forward to the hardworking Virgin America employees joining our IAM family. The IAM has a long history and extensive experience in dealing with airline mergers and every worker can rest assured they will receive the finest representation during this process.”
The Alaska Airlines-Virgin America merger was announced in April and awaits approval by the DOJ. Read the IAM’s letter of support.
The IAM represents approximately 3,000 Passenger Service, Clerical, Ramp and Stores workers at Alaska Airlines, and more than 600 Virgin America employees will join the IAM family as a result of the merger. The IAM is the world’s largest airline union representing over 100,000 airline workers.
For more information on the IAM, click here.